I liked this candid insight from the Coldplay lead singer, also known as the ex-husband of Gwyneth Paltrow, on how he got through his very public good divorce. Martin admits that he felt depressed for a year and can still wake up feeling down, but that he now has a "very wonderful separation-divorce. It's a divorce, but it's a weird one," he told the British Sunday Times Magazine, recapped here in Hello. "It's funny. I don't think about that word very often - divorce. I don't see it that way. I see it more like you meet someone, you have some time together and things just move through," he said. Martin talks about the books he read to get through, including Austrian neurologist and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankl's Man Search for Meaning. I think this is a great reading recommendation. I talk about the work of Frankl in my chapter on post traumatic growth in Splitopia.
Frankl writes about the real power of taking control of our attitude—even in unfathomably difficult times—and his insights have helped people face divorce as well as life-threatening illness. It's amazing how much solace we can get from reading about the very real resilience of others.
I think Martin sums up the effort to have a decent divorce very well: "You can come at it very aggressively and blame and blame. Or you can put yourself in the garage, so to speak . Take yourself apart and clean off the bits. Reassemble."
I've written before about this good celebrity divorce, and how resources are growing to help more people manage their divorces with cooperation, compassion and love.
Martin says he also read the 13th Century Persian poet Rumi, quoting a passage about how tough times can be good for us. I also have a quote from Rumi on my list of inspirational or helpful quotes for facing divorce:
“There is a way of breathing that’s a shame and suffocation. And there’s another way of expiring, a love-breath that lets you open infinitely.”
And here's one I'm hoping to live into by 14th Century Sufi poet Shams-ud-din Muhammad Haifa:
“And the sun and the moon sometimes argue over who gets to tuck me in at night. If you think I’m having more fun than anyone else on the planet, you are absolutely correct.”
* This post originally appeared on Wendy Paris's website, wendyparis.com.
Wendy Paris is the author of Splitopia: Dispatches from Today's Good Divorce and How to Part Well (Simon & Schuster/Atria, 2016). Splitopia and her work on divorce have been covered by The New York Times, Real Simple, The Washington Post, The New York Post, The Globe & Mail, Psychology Today, The Houston Chronicle, Salon.com, Parents.com, Family Law Quarterly, PsychCentral.com and radio and TV shows nationwide. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and is an advocate for family law reform. She is divorced, and lives in Santa Monica, California, a few blocks from her former husband, with whom she has a warm co-parenting relationship.